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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

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Despite concerns that the restructure of the Royal Foundation – a charity once headed up by both the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Duke and Duchess of Sussex – could cause its income to suffer, the organisation has reportedly seen quite the opposite effect since becoming Prince William and Kate’s solo project.

Writing in the Daily Mail, Richard Eden cites newly published documents as revealing that the charity, now called the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, raised an impressive £11.78 million last year. The figure is almost double the £6.68 million income from 2019, prior to Prince Harry and Meghan’s decision to part ways with the joint venture.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex

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While the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s choice to pursue independence divided public opinion, with the couple gaining both detractors and supporters for the move, US commentators have often been among those standing up for American-born Meghan. High-profile figures from the likes of Beyoncé to Bernice King (daughter of the late Martin Luther King Jr and CEO of his eponymous Centre for Nonviolent Social Change), for example, spoke up on her behalf in the wake of the Duke and Duchess’s revealing Oprah Winfrey television interview back in March.

Yet it seems that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have remained popular in the US too, with Eden reporting that the 2020 finances for their charity include a £2.59 million grant from American Friends of the Royal Foundation. Describing the organisation’s mission today, its official website reads: ‘Driven by a desire to make a difference together, The Royal Foundation is the primary philanthropic and charitable vehicle for The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Our programmes currently revolve around main themes of work; mental health, early years, wildlife conservation, and emergency responders.’

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Harry and Meghan’s split from the organisation came some seven months prior to their Megxit announcement, when the couple told the world via social media of their decision ‘to step back as “senior” members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent’. Yet it was perhaps a foreshadowing of events to come when, on 20 June 2019, news broke that the couple were officially parting ways with the Royal Foundation to establish their own independent charity venture, under the now-defunct name Sussex Royal.

Today, Harry and Meghan are continuing their own philanthropic ventures across the pond with their ambitious Archewell Foundation – the charitable arm of their three-pronged organisation (which also encompasses Archewell Productions and Archewell Audio, in partnership with Netflix and Spotify, respectively). Just this week, to mark her 40th birthday on 4 August, Meghan announced the launch of 40 x 40, a major new mentoring scheme through which 40 of her influential friends will offer up 40 minutes of their time to support women re-entering the workforce.

The Duchess of Sussex marks 40th birthday with launch of ambitious new women’s mentorship programme

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